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FIRST DAYS OF HD-- FINDING OUT, PRE TREATMENT, AND FIRST ROUND CHEMO

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

PLEASE HELP ME HELP MY FRIEND.......

 

My friend was diagnosed 2 weeks ago after finding this lump under her arm, at first we thought it was just a bump....then it got bigger. After dealing with it for a week and a half she went to the hospital, completed the blood test, then received the news. She was EXTREMELY emotional and there was nothing I could say or do to make it better; me being a Psychology major and damned proud about the knowledge I have attained, I'm use to dealing with crisis and working my "magic" to make ppl feel better but this time around I HAD NO WORDS.

 

She has already been taking her Pre-Chemo line up for the past 2 weeks, her tumor has shrunk, but we're still awaiting results that will reveal whether or not is has spread. I have been up and down every cancer blog site, fact sheet, and support group looking for pointers, opinions, testimonials, and everything in between. TODAY, she is suppose to be receiving her first treatment after she completes her xrays & is really nervous. I myself am VERY nervous for her but I have to play it COOL so she won't freak out. Since she was diagnosed she's had great days where she felt on top of the world and horrible days where she was bent over in agony, questioning why she was even alive. This is one situation that I just don't have the answers for. I've been helping her cope as best as I can, sharing survival rates, possibilities of remission, and sending her sites w/ good stuff to eat to strengthen her immune system. She's so little; 22 years old and about 80lbs, 4ft 10in in height. 

 

PLEASE help me, I feel like I'm breaking. Whenever we talk I seem upbeat, optimistic, and positive but afterwards I cry my eyes out.

epicc's picture
epicc
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2012

Welcome to the site.  It really is very helpful and you will get lots of prayers, hugs, and helpful information here.  My mom was diganosed October 22.  She is 82 years young and has never been sick her entire life.  She was very active all the time.  Her being diagnosed with cancer was a complete shock to our family especially my dad.  Since then, we have had many ups and downs.  Some of the things you said about being on top of the world one minute and very very down the next is exaclty what I experience with my mom.  When that happens, I send my kids and sister's kids to the rescue.  She loves her grandchildren.  I'm told it is perfectly normal.  They might even give your friend anti anxiety meds.  My mom had some in the beginning.  Your friend is young.  Her chances of remission are excellent.  Many people on this site are in remission.  I'm sure they will write very soon.  My mom being 82 beleive it or not, is fighting and doing pretty good today.  Her Lymphoma is rare and tricky to treat.  But most are treatable and even curable.  Good luck with the chemo today.  Hope all turns out well.

Hugs,

Emily

 

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

I forgot to mention it in my reply but I am keeping you and your mother in my prayers. I have no doubt she will be better, the power of prayer is amazing & works for ALL ages Smile Thanks for the luck, it worked lol.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

  As epicc has already said what is going on is perfectly normal. You are new to the site and all I can say is stay away from those websites. They are good for some things, But looking up stats is not one of them. They will drive you crazy. One says one thing and another says another. They are stats only. You and your friend are individual people and not a stat. Most people do well with treatment. Some is cureable and some is so slow growing and is not, but  very treatable. When you find out exactly what the diagnosis is please let us know and we can help you even more. In the meantime try to stay calm. It is easier said than done I know. John 

illead's picture
illead
Posts: 532
Joined: Aug 2012

I am assuming your friend has some type of lymphoma.  At first, it is very shocking to get the "news".  Then you have to learn a new vocabulary and way of life (temporarily)  As stated in the 2 other posts lymphoma is very treatable.  The symptoms sometimes can be very dramatic and scary.  They will go away though and as also was stated, lymphona usually reacts very well to chemo, so your friend hopefully will notice a difference soon.  Stay as composed as possible because she needs you and know that there are many of us caregivers out there.  We know what you are going through.  You came to the right place for encouragement, you will see shortly.  My husband has a rare type of NHL (Mantle Cell) and after 9 cycles of chemo had no sign of cancer cells.  He is still in remission a year later.  So both of you hang in there.  You are in our thoughts, Bill and Becky

po18guy
Posts: 241
Joined: Nov 2011

Hodgkin's has a very high cure rate. The stage of lymphoma does not matter like it does in other cancers. Please keep that in mind. The stage is mostly useful in determining the type of treatment that will be undergone. Any and all treatment is tailored to the body mass and/or weight of the patient, so it is not like she will be bombarded with toxic drugs. Yet, once one has such a diagnosis, it does indicate a very serious condition, and life is permenently changed. What must be concentrated on now is the battle at hand. The remainder of life will simply have to wait until the battle is won.

I very strongly suggest that a second opinion is obtained - both as to diagnosis and treatment - as mistakes are still made. One does not want to undergo the deleterious health effects of chemotherapy if it is not defeating their particular cancer. Now, Hodgkin's has very distinct cells in its makeup: Reed-Sternberg cells. This means that a diagnostic mistake is less likely, but there are different subtypes of Hodgkin's and treatments, and results, do vary.

The body is one thing, and the spirit is quite another. Doctors address the body, but what relief is there for the spirit, especially if there is little or nothing that has helped to prepare for this? Even in medicine, one must place their faith in the medical profession and in the competence of the team which is addressing the condition. However, only a tiny fraction of what can be known about cancer is actually known. There remains an intangible aspect that can help make up for all that is missing. It is called faith. If either of you had, or has a faith life, I can heartily suggest turning to it. Great comfort may be found there - comfort which does not need a prescription, a degree, or an office visit. Offering prayer on her behalf, even if you do not know Who or what you are praying to, can help immensely. My faith has sustained me through my journey. It has allowed me to realize that cancer can be an absolute blessing. I know of nothing else that can do that. 

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Hey po, all I can add to that is AMEN !!!! Smile

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Hey GUYS!

 

Sorry for the late reply, my friend just completed her first round. I'm talking to her now, they told her she has 1A Hodgkins Lymphoma. They have prescribed her ABVD & Vincristine. They are also predicting she'll undergo 2 cycles for right now. She's ok right now, just weak & sleepy of course. It's too early to tell just how bad it'll get but she seems OK right now. I can't express how thankful I am for you all and your advice!! You are GREAT and I will continue to keep you updated every few days Laughing

 

 

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Hey GUYS!

 

Sorry for the late reply, my friend just completed her first round. I'm talking to her now, they told her she has 1A Hodgkins Lymphoma. They have prescribed her ABVD & Vincristine. They are also predicting she'll undergo 2 cycles for right now. She's ok right now, just weak & sleepy of course. It's too early to tell just how bad it'll get but she seems OK right now. I can't express how thankful I am for you all and your advice!! You are GREAT and I will continue to keep you updated every few days Laughing

 

 

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

THANKYOU so much for that!

 

I am so grateful for all of the great information you just gave me. I find comfort in knowing things so I feel a little better at the moment. I am definetly turning to my faith more than I ever have I believe. Most of the doctors are extremely impersonal so she feels kinda left out sometimes when they say things she has never heard of. She has a great support system. I am sooo glad you have gotten through it and are here to testify!! 

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

If this helps, I wanted to tell you and your friend, I  too had Hodgkins Disease,1A back in 1989...23 years ago.  I had just got married.  In 1993 I had a baby girl and in 1996 I had another!  They are almost 17 and 20.  Of course when my journey started I never thought I'd be here typing this now.  Both you and your friend will figure out how to deal and process all the changes in your lives.  In awhile, you will find you are just thinking about what challenge or opportunity today will bring and before you know it, treatments will be done.  Hang in there.  Best wishes to you and your friend.  Cathy

Friendof_aFriend
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

You helped quite a bit actually, I can't wait until we reach that point where we're in acceptance and embracing the challenges ahead. It is also nice to know that you have been able to live "regularly". God bless you and your family and Thank You so much for your kind words Laughing

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